Christine Bachrach is a social demographer with scientific interests that have spanned the areas of fertility, family formation, marriage and divorce, adoption, sexual behavior, contraceptive practice, population health, and survey methodology. She served as Acting Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health during 2008-2010, and as Chief of the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development during the years 1992-2008. She joined the Maryland faculty in February, 2010 and is currently pursuing activities in two scientific areas.

In the field of population health science, Bachrach serves as Board member and Secretary-Treasurer of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, a new scientific association dedicated to advancing an integrative understanding of the multiple pathways – from the biological to the behavioral to the societal – that interact to produce health. IAPHS will provide an interdisciplinary forum in which scientists in the emerging field of population health science can work together toward this goal. She also co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program (, a training ground for social, behavioral and biomedical scientists in the interdisciplinary field of population health, and is working to establish future training programs in this field when the RWJF program ends in 2016. She does not maintain an active research portfolio in this area but has designed and taught a course on the drivers of socioeconomic disparities in health.

Bachrach’s current research activities focus on the contributions of cognitive science to understanding culture and demographic behaviors. Current projects focus on a social-cognitive theory of fertility intentions and qualitative analysis of parenting schemas among low-income women. A co-authored volume, Understanding Family Change and Variation: Towards a Theory of Conjunctural Action (…) was published in 2011.

Bachrach was President of the Population Association of America in 2013 and has served on numerous boards and committees for scientific organizations and programs in the health and population fields.


  • PhD
    Population Dynamics, Johns Hopkins University, 1979
  • MA
    Sociology (Demography), Georgetown University, 1974
Christine Bachrach
3147 Art/Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
chrisbachrach [at]